“You sing the same thing over and over. It is so boring. I prefer to come into church and sing some uplifting praise music. It really gets my blood pumping. It makes me feel good, and I can feel God.”
Or something of that nature, anyway. There is nothing wrong with praise worship. I like it. On the radio. In the car. But I prefer my Gloria and Te Deum. (Although in fairness the only place that I sing the Te Deum is in my house. I wish my church would sing it every now and then.)
When I was a kid, I half sang the liturgy. I had it memorized, so while I sang I could look around the church and make mental notes of the things around me. So and so isn’t in church today… Oh, Mrs. What’s Her Name isn’t standing. Her knee must really be bothering her…. Now who is making all that racket in the back?
And if you really want to hear a true, Tressa confession, I will tell you that I couldn’t wait for the prayer because I finally would be able to close my eyes. Not my proudest moment. It is true. I am a sinner.
But now. Now. After how many years of singing the liturgy, I can sing it in my sleep. Literally.
I was lying in bed the other night. I was overcome by the worries of the day, and sleep was eluding me. I worried about Mom. I wonder (present tense because I am still wondering) why God keeps her here on earth when she suffers so greatly. Her mind is confused because of the medicine we give her to keep her from pain. Why? Why, God?
And it came to me.
Out of the depths do I cry unto thee,
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, shoulds’t mark iniquities,
O Lord, who shall stand?
I wait for The Lord, my soul doth wait
And in His word do I hope.
And with Him there is plenteous redemption
My soul waits for The Lord more than they that watch for the morning.
I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
I put the somethings in there because I can’t remember it exactly. Truthfully, I can’t even remember where I sang it before. But it is there. In my head. When I needed it. I am pretty sure it is a psalm.
Now, if you want me to write the Gloria from complete memory. I can do that. But it wasn’t what I needed at that night.
Then, there is this prayer. From memory.
O Lord, our Heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought us to the beginning of this day, defend us in the same with thy almighty power and grant that this day we fall into no sin nor run into any kind of danger, but that all our doings being ordered by the governance may be righteous in thy sight. Though Jesus Christ, thy son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost forever and ever. Amen.
When I need it.
And that is why I love the liturgy.